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Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Hiddleston, More On Marvel, Loki and Kevin Feige

Being a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe equips its stars with unique powers both on screen and off.

“We all have a number sign over our heads when we make independent films [for] whether we can sell them internationally to help get financing, ”says Elizabeth Olsen. “If we want to do it, it allows us to be able to do it. So I think it’s a big advantage to be a part of such a huge international franchise. ”

Olsen first appeared as Wanda Maximoff, also known as Scarlet Witch, in Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” in 2014, before entering films such as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Occasionally, she worked on India, including “Ingrid Goes West”

; and the TV series “Sorry for Your Loss” for Facebook Watch. This past TV season, however, she brought her superhero on the big screen to Disney Plus with the headline “WandaVision” alongside Paul Bettany.

The ability to flow between platforms at all may be special to actors, but doing so with the same character is a testament to the power of MCU. And Olsen and Bettany were only the first from the comic book company’s franchise to achieve this. Soon they were followed by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and Tom Hiddleston in “Loki,” all of whom are participating in a special panel at Variety‘s Virtual TV Fest.

Despite the long and wide journeys these artists take on their Marvel roles, they are usually kept in the dark about the fate of their characters. After “Captain America: The First Avenger” from 2011, Stan was not sure if he wanted to star in another Marvel movie – until he got a call from a friend at the San Diego Comic-Con telling him that his character was in the title as the next film that had just been announced.

Stan and Mackie found out “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” in a similarly surprising way. The two were each summoned to Los Angeles for meetings and ended up crossing paths in the hotel lobby.

“I had an idea of ​​what was cooking, but I did not think it was going to be a TV show,” says Mackie about encountering Stan. Initially, he admits he was “horrified” at the idea of ​​taking his character to Disney Plus.

“I was very scared and very disappointed when I heard it was going to be a TV show because I did not think we could take the range of what we had just done in all these movies and then put it on TV, and it would work, “he says.” I would not be Marvel’s first failed device. You have all these amazing things, and then this one thing sucks, and it happens to be me. … I thought it would be like Batman and Robin – the original – where it was, ‘Pow! Bing!’ ”

Only when production on the show started did Mackie say he understood that they maintained the cinematic scope – and that he would be able to reconnect with all of his MCU compatriots.

“When you become part of the Marvel franchise, it’s almost like summer camp,” he says. “So when you show up to put, it’s all and you never miss a beat. Some people have kids, some bought a car, some did, so it’s like you go back to see all your same friends over and over again. ”

However, as soon as production starts, each artist must also carry highly classified secrets. “I tell everyone in my personal life, and I do not tell it to anyone in the press,” Olsen says, noting that you need people you can trust.

Having so much information about where the franchise is going, these players make experts on the material. Continuity can get complicated in a TV series that should serve as a bridge between movies, especially if there are new crew members who are not so imbued with the story. That’s how Hiddleston hosted a multi-hour symposium on the set of “Loki.”

“There was a blackboard, I’m afraid,” Hiddleston said. “I said to Kate Herron, our instructor, ‘Would it be helpful if I gave all the information at the same time?’ And Kate and Kevin Wright, our producer, were like, ‘This is a great idea.’ Shamefully, it then became a Loki lecture. ”

When each of these shots was fired at the same studio lot in Atlanta, word of the Loki lectures came out to the other actors – who had collapsed that they could not attend themselves.

“They made us work,” Mackie says. “They planned one of our biggest scenes so we could not sneak out and crash the Tom Hiddleston symposium.”

However, none of these actors easily take part in MCU.

“These movies mean so much to so many people, and it’s a privilege,” Hiddleston said.

Perhaps the greatest privilege it turns out is who interacts most with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige – a topic of considerable interest to all panelists.

“How many times during your recording did you talk to Kevin Feige, Tom?” Asks Mackie Hiddleston.

“A couple of times,” Hiddleston replies. “Because of the pandemic, he was in contact with the closure.”

At this point, Stan jumps in. “He only asks because Anthony called him every Friday night,” Stan says.

Olsen then weighs in and calls his own co-star. “Paul sends texts to Kevin every other day,” she says.

“I booked this trip to Greece and I had to know how much I could spend!” Bettany answers.

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